NEW YORK: Following what has fast become a trend, Viacom's children's TV channel Nickelodeon announced it will from 2009 withdraw all character licensing for products deemed unhealthful to kids.

It follows a path blazed last year by the Walt Disney Company and aligns with an undertaking given last month to Congress by eleven food and beverage companies that they will change how they advertise to under-twelves.

Beginning in 2009, Nickelodeon will confine the use of its licensed characters on food packaging "to products that meet 'better for you' criteria as established by marketing partners in accordance with governmental dietary guidelines."

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online. additional content by WARC staff